Delhi

Heat hits the homeless hard

The intense heat is believed to have claimed at least 340 lives in Delhi since April.File photo

The intense heat is believed to have claimed at least 340 lives in Delhi since April.File photo  

The intense heat wave sweeping across north India has taken a toll on the homeless. This week, in fact, has seen the maximum number of deaths.

The North district, which saw the highest number of reported deaths among the homeless, recorded 31 fatalities between May 1 and 18. Four deaths were registered between May 16 and 17.

“Almost all of them are related to the heat wave and the fact that there aren’t enough measures to ensure that we are able to provide facilities to prevent them,” said Sunil Kumar Aldelia of the Centre for Holistic Development.

Mr. Aldelia added that while the North district was the worst hit, other parts of the city were also facing a similar problem.

The intense heat is believed to have claimed at least 340 lives in Delhi since April, of which 102 were reported in May alone, suggests a report released by the Centre for Holistic Development (CHD).

Stating that the lack of shelters was hitting the homeless, he explained that there was an urgent need to ensure that the Delhi government’s summer action plan is rigorously implemented.

“Lack of the drinking water, ceiling fans or coolers have made the shelter homes, many of which are made of tin, punishment chambers. In the North district, the absence of shelters is impacting the homeless. Primary investigation of the bodies found across Delhi suggests that the extreme heat led to death,” Mr. Aledia said.

The State government, meanwhile, has maintained that the summer action plan is in place and that no one coming to the shelters is being turned away.

“Clean drinking water and a hygienic place to stay has been made available,” said an official.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 8:19:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/heat-hits-the-homeless-hard/article8623109.ece

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